Lower Than Atlantis, The Faim, and Sleeping With Sirens @ Festival Hall in Melbourne, AU
Review & Photography by: Dana Hope
Sunday night was definitely a highlight of the year so far. To end a pretty dull week , I headed to Sleeping With Sirens at Festival Hall with supports by Lower Than Atlantis and The Faim. Unfortunately, Chase Atlantic had to pull out the tour due to Mitchell getting glandular fever but the show was something else nonetheless.
Opening the night was The Faim. These home grown aussie boys were definitely new for me. Having never seen or heard their music before I was in for a surprise. The Faim’s stage presence was insane. The vocalist (Josh Raven) was extremely interactive with the crowd and tried to get everyone involved, even if you didn’t know their music, you could definitely bop along. While a lot of attention was focused on the vocalist, naturally I try and focus on other members of the band. Sean Tighe (drummer) is definitely a hidden talent and one to watch. Being able to see the enjoyment while demonstrating his skills was incredible to watch. You can tell that music is what he loves and that easily radiated through his performance.
Michael Bono (lead guitar) and Stephen Beerkens (bass/keyboard) were also up there with some of the most entertaining band members I’ve seen for a while. Both were running around the stage, interacting with the crowd and having a genuinely good time. These boys although unknown by most at the start of their set, were sure to gain a few fans from their crazy performance, a perfect way to get the crowd warmed up for Lower Than Atlantis and ultimately, Sleeping With Sirens.
Lower Than Atlantis, hailing from the UK brought a little more maturity to the tour, giving ‘You Me At Six’ vibes, these guys are the kings of catchy songs. Even if you didn’t know the song when they started, you knew the chorus by the end. The hooks and bridges are unforgettable and this catchy pop punk will go far. The low point of the set was the lack of stage presence. After the non-stop performance by The Faim, it was a bit of a let-down for Lower Than Atlantis to miss such a fatal part of performing live. However, I will praise Mike Duce (vocalist) for his impromptu discussion during the technical difficulties the guitar tech was having.
The best part of Lower Than Atlantis’ set was during one of their final songs, Mike told the crowd to sing it back, even if they don’t know the words, just say random stuff or make noise. First round, only a few people did it or it was those who knew the words, but after some encouragement it was the funniest and most interesting thing of the night. The crowd just made noise to the beat of the song and it actually worked out really well as Mike began to sing again. Overall it was a great performance by Lower Than Atlantis, who with improved stage presence, could put on one hell of a show.
After a much anticipated wait, Sleeping With Sirens hit the stage and it was nothing less than expected. Beginning the set with some hits of their 2015 album ‘Madness’ really got the crowd going as the year ‘Madness’ was released, was the last time they were in Australia. Throwing in the crowd favourite ‘Better Off Dead’ within the first 3 songs had me singing along in the photo pit while shooting. For me, hearing this song while I was shooting was surreal as the last time Sleeping With Sirens were in Australia, I was on the barrier in the crowd. Being able to shoot one of your favourite bands is something I will cherish for a long time.
Their whole set was nothing but incredible. Kellin Quinn (vocalist) graced the stage wearing his signature red and black flannel and didn’t miss a beat even while dancing and moving around the stage during their set. The interaction and movement from both Nick Martin (guitar) and Justin Hills (guitar) was non-stop and worked so well together, adding to the performance. The punk jumps from both Kellin and Justin are memorable and really scream out pop punk, which is everything Sleeping With Sirens stands for.
The highlight of the set was when Kellin spotted a fan with a sign asking if he could play ‘The Strays’ with them. In true Sleeping With Sirens style, the fan was brought up on stage, given a guitar and played along perfectly with Nick Martin, assisting with a second acoustic guitar during the song. The fan was incredible and the down to earth vibes of bringing a fan up on stage is why I will always have so much respect for Sleeping With Sirens.
My personal let down of the set was that not as many older songs were played. Although it’s a tour promoting their new album ‘Gossip’, the lack of incorporation of older tracks did annoy some fans, but for those who are newer fans of SWS, it was a perfect combination of ‘Gossip’ and ‘Madness’ with a hint of the classics that everyone knows.
Overall, the concert was full of punk jumps, fantastic crowd interaction, and I’m sure a few tears from fans as those few lucky ones met the bands after the show. What I took away from this show is; The Faim are a force to be reckoned with and are going to take over the scene, Lower Than Atlantis never fail to put on an entertaining performance to say the least and Sleeping With Sirens are the champions of punk jumps, stage presence and never failing to bring out the emo teenager hidden in all of us.